March 15, 2016
The speed with which digitization will transform the global economy is likely to surprise many players. So it is critical that several companies begin now to shift their focus beyond simply selling and maintaining their products and services within the current IT system. Instead, they must rethink everything from their operations to their sales and marketing processes to their cultures if they are to stay relevant in the digital age.
Many large technology vendors understand the need for change. For example, IBM-whose advertising slogan, “Smarter Planet,” suggests its commitment to digitization-has been actively buying companies to support a digitized future. In 2010, it bought data warehouse maker Netezza for $1.7 billion, business integration software maker Sterling Commerce for $1.4 billion, and Unica, a maker of marketing technology, for $500 million. The names of other large vendors’ initiatives suggest their similar visions for the future: Smart+Connected Communities (Cisco Systems); Central Nervous System for the Earth (HP Labs); Intelligent Networks (Deutsche Telekom).
Fully 50 percent of all IT spending in 2017 is expected to be devoted to smart computing solutions, platforms, and processes. There is no doubt that the promised value of digitization can only be captured by companies in these fields that understand the fundamental changes ahead. These changes include the following:
Cloud computing and security are universally seen as leading industry areas.